by Philip Layton
Salvation comes by faith, not through observing the law
Do you know people who say they hope they are good enough to be saved (to get to Heaven)?
Do you ever take time to consider that God loves you regardless of how faithful and obedient you are?
Is it tempting to think that salvation can be earned through being good Christians?
Why is it important to recognise that our efforts cannot help earn our salvation?
Salvation comes by grace through faith alone. Although this is true, can it be a difficult doctrine to accept?
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Going Deeper From 'Words of Life'
Have you ever been foolish? Done foolish things? Have you ever done things that are not godly? We don’t often use the word bewitched, for it’s a strong word. Yet when we turn our eyes away from Christ, we do become bewitched – completely off focus. We can become so foolish that we blatantly sin, grieving God’s heart.
Some people believe in a basic moralism, thinking that following the Golden Rule is enough. A simple guideline for living from day to day, without hurting others. Nothing deep or complicated – asking for little commitment. Just follow a few rules.
Some think humanism is the answer. Reason things out. Look out for others here and there, for that’s what life’s all about.
Others take the social or environmental approach to life. Improve the climate, the atmosphere. Provide nicer homes. Clean up the cities. Save energy. Build shelters for the homeless.
All of the above are good objectives. But the sole purpose and meaning for life? That’s plain foolishness. The gospel, Paul says, is so much more. It’s about the centrality of life: the cross, Christ’s love, eternal life.
Convictions. They’re essential – to know not only what’s right and wrong, but to live a holy life, pleasing to God alone.
Confidence. It’s vital for our spiritual life – to keep strong in our faith, having confidence in Christ alone.
Cross. This is about our redemption – available for all, which includes both Jew and Gentile:
He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit (v 14).
We might do foolish things. But let’s never be foolish when it comes to our relationship with our Lord.
Evelyn MerriamTags: Galatians